By Frank J. Diekmann
I’m often wrong, but why do I have a feeling CUToday.info will someday be publishing this headline: “NCUA Board Votes to Push Back Risk-Based Capital Compliance Deadline to Jan. 1, 2119; Trade Groups Say More Time Needed.”
And now on to the other important stuff:
All Our New Branches Have Glass Walls
The House Financial Services Committee recently held a hearing on “diversity in the boardroom.” Among those submitting letters ahead of the hearing were the credit union trade groups.
For example, CUNA’s letter read, “Credit unions acknowledge that increasing diversity of credit union boards is critical, and we understand that we must be intentional about increasing diversity and inclusion in the board room in order for credit unions to continue to reach and better serve an increasingly diverse population.”
Not sayin’ that’s a bit ironic, given the racial/gender makeup of not just the CUNA and NAFCU boards but just about every credit union board, too, but, just sayin’.
Reminds me of Bryan Cranston’s recent wry observation as he accepted a Tony Award, “Finally,a straight white man gets a break.” But Cranston was being funny to make a point. I don’t think the trade groups were looking for laughs.
One Way Trip to Losses
I shared in a recent column how CU execs shouldn’t forget where they came from when staying in expensive hotels and resorts on the CU’s dime (and lots of dollars), because the people working there to clean their rooms and wait on their tables need a credit union more than ever.
In that same column, for instance, I shared the story of an Uber driver who told me when he moved to Key West 15 years ago his rent was $950. Today, he’s in that same 2/1, but he’s now cutting a monthly check for $2,700. Hence, the Uber gig.
For all of those people in such positions, a big tip or big fare can be a real difference maker, right? Yes, but it’s often not the difference you might think.
Herr Uber driver told me he had recently picked up a fare in Key West whom he had to drive the 230 miles or so to West Palm Beach. It was a $300 fare, of which the driver got to keep 65%. But he also had to pay tolls on Florida’s Turnpike, cover his gas and worst of all, drive back empty. You can forget what your Ways or GPS tell you; it’s a good six-hour drive in South Florida traffic, and on the Overseas Highway in the Keys, you’re one stuck-behind-an-out-of-stater-in-their-first-RV rental away from watching the calendar change as you try to reach that Southernmost Point in the U.S. marker.
That’s why it’s called the gig economy. Sometimes, you get gigged.
And Sometimes You Get Incredibly Lucky
From the What Are The Extraordinary Uber Odds Dept…. Was scheduled to speak to a recent meeting of CU Service Network in Denver early in the morning when I realized at 6:30 p.m. the prior evening that I had all the cables needed to connect to a projector, but I also had a new MacBook Air. And as is Apple’s fiendishly clever tactic for locking all of us into a we’re-helpless-but-to-give-you-more-of-our-money revenue loop, that meant I needed new cables, as the new MacBook airs lack standard USB ports.
I rushed to the hotel front desk to see if there might be a Best Buy somewhere near, and there was, about 20 minutes away in Westminster. I called an Uber, and when we were about five minutes out from the store the driver asked what I was looking to buy. I then began recounting the whole Apple thing.
“Oh, you need a USB-C connector with an HDMI jack,” he responded, describing exactly the multi-port cable I needed. And then he added, “I have one in the trunk.”
And you are now thinking exactly what I was thinking: When an Uber driver says he has something in the trunk to show you, that’s usually how one of those Dateline NBC murder mystery reports begin.
When we pulled into the Best Buy lot he did indeed open his trunk and pull out a backpack (yet another potential danger sign) and he extracted the cable I needed. He told me if Best Buy didn’t have it, he’d sell it to me. Once inside, I quickly found the retailer had just what I now knew to look for, and I was out of the store so fast the same Uber driver, who in his other gig worked in tech, drove me back to the hotel.
What are the odds of that?
At one recent event, Dave Mooney, CEO of Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, said his CU’s expansion away from being a single-SEG CU serving United Airlines to one serving numerous companies came after “Our board decided it wasn’t great to be tied to a crappy company in a crappy industry.”
Maybe You Missed it in the Haze
Received a press release recently accompanying a letter from the attorneys general of 38 states and U.S. territories who had written to Congress about changing federal laws around the cannabis industry. Without a hint of irony, apparently, the AGs referred to it as a “joint letter.”
Frank J. Diekmann is Cooperator in Chief at CUToday.info and can be reached at Frank@CUToday.infoor @FrankCUToday.